Seward & Southern Kenai Mtns

Archives
Issued
Fri, January 26th, 2024 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, January 27th, 2024 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Daniel Krueger
Conditions Summary

Weekend Avalanche Outlook

Saturday, Jan. 27 – Sunday, Jan. 28

Bottom Line:  Northwesterly winds especially near the coast may be strong enough to transport snow into isolated or small fresh wind slabs. With no new snow these wind slabs would likely form only in places where snow is still available to be transported. Additionally, glide cracks are still forming in the forecast area. Limit time under them as these “brown frowns” can release spontaneously into a large and destructive avalanche.

Special Announcements

Outdoor Explorer – If you are interested in learning more about the Chugach Avalanche Center expansion and our forecast products, tune in to “Outdoor Explorer” on the Alaska Public Media Outdoor Explorer website or as an Outdoor Explorer podcast.

The Winter Rendezvous is TOMORROW, January 27 10-1pm at the Trail Lake Lodge in Moose Pass. Forecaster Daniel Krueger will be introducing himself to the public, spreading the word about our weekend outlook in the Summit and Seward areas as well as answering any questions you have! There will be activities, food and live music as well. You can find more information about the event here!

Peninsula Powersports in Soldotna will be hosting us on Feb 8, 5-6pm. Similar to Moose Pass, this will be an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves, the weekend outlook for Summit and Seward as well as answer any questions you have. 

Snowmachine access in the Kenai Mountains: Here is a map showing snowmachine access in Summit Pass. This is a great tool to better understand and travel in areas open to snowmachining. You can also download it to your phone to use in the field.

Recent Avalanches

Recent Avalanches: There was a large avalanche observed on Jan. 25 north of Lost Lake on a steep rocky face on a south aspect you can check out here. Likely it was from high winds last week. Glide avalanches were observed on Moose Mtn, Tender Peak and in the Carter/Crescent Lake area on peak 5135. Glide cracks opened near Exit Glacier on a south aspect and Mt Eva still has multiple cracks that have not released.

Weather Recap: It has been a windy week for the Seward area.  A trace of snow managed to fall around Lost Lake and Snug Harbor. Otherwise, the entire region has had clear skies with temperatures in the mid-teens F to mid-20’s F near the coast while areas more interior such as Snug Harbor had temperatures below zero F. An inversion has been keeping temperatures at higher elevations a little more pleasant in the mid-teens.

Weather Forecast: Some clouds with patches of sun are expected on Saturday into Sunday. Northerly winds gusting to 20 mph early Saturday should decrease with winds averaging 10-15 mph throughout the day, gradually decreasing on Sunday to 5-10 mph. The coast of Seward however looks to continue to receive strong outflow winds from the north that will gust 35+ mph. Unfortunately, little to no snow is expected. Temperatures will be frigid and continue dropping over the weekend. Saturday’s temps will average 0 F to -10 F and Sunday will average -5 F to -12 F in the Lost Lake area. It is possible Snug Harbor may be colder.

There is a possibility a storm may arrive on Sunday evening throughout Monday that may bring snow to the Kenai Peninsula. If this storm verifies, we may receive a foot or more of new snow.

Recent avalanche observed on a steep south aspect. From the location of the slide on the slope, high winds could have been the culprit. 1.25.2024

Glide activity on peak 5135 viewed from Crescent Lake. 1.24.2024

Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Conditions in Seward are generally stable, and it is unlikely that an avalanche could be triggered by a person over the weekend. That being said there are a few things to keep in mind as you get out. Winds from the north will be stronger in Seward and along the coast. The winds forecast in Lost Lake will be strong enough to transport snow but with no significant snow since Jan 5th, most of the snow has already been blown into old wind slabs. If you see snow being transported in the mountains that is a good indicator that fresh winds slabs are forming.

Glide cracks have been observed near Exit Glacier, on Mt Eva, Moose Mtn, and in the Crescent Lake area. These cracks open and release spontaneously and can be large and destructive. We have generally seen this mid-slope on steeper faces. It is best to avoid traveling under glide cracks. If you have no alternative route limit exposure by traveling one at a time and moving as efficiently as possible.

There is a possibility that a weather pattern may bring snow Sunday evening extending into Monday to the Seward area.  This would be falling on weak surfaces. If we get a lot of snow in the mountains, the avalanche danger will increase as we expect avalanches to release naturally. Keep this in mind if you pursue fresh snow next week. Generally, it is advised to avoid traveling in or below avalanche terrain until after the snow has time to adjust to the load.

Glide crack above Exit Glacier on a south aspect. 1.24.2024

 

 

 

Weather
Fri, January 26th, 2024

Weather Forecast Links:

NWS Point Forecast: Point forecast near Lost Lake.

NWS Avalanche Weather Guidance (AVG) forecast page: Zoom into the Anchorage bowl for special detailed winter forecast.

Windy.com Spot Forecast: Spot forecast for Lost Lake. (tip: scroll through models using the links at the bottom of the page, and change locations by clicking on the map).

Weather Stations

Grouse Creek Divide Snotel

Lost Lake Weather Station

Observations
Recent Observations for Seward & Southern Kenai Mtns
Date Region Location
04/16/24 Seward Observation: Lost Lake
04/10/24 Seward Observation: Lost Lake
04/03/24 Seward Observation: Snug Harbor
03/31/24 Seward Avalanche: Lost Lake
03/27/24 Seward Avalanche: Tiehacker Mountain
03/14/24 Seward Observation: Lost Lake via Snug Harbor
03/06/24 Seward Observation: Carter Lake
03/03/24 Seward Observation: Victor Creek, 1k – 1.6k elevation
02/29/24 Seward Observation: Carter Lake
02/26/24 Seward Avalanche: Mt Marathon
Riding Areas

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This is a general backcountry conditions summary. This advisory does not apply to highways, railroads or operating ski areas.